What's In a Mortgage Calculator?

You may have noticed in the Resources area that there’s a simple mortgage calculator to help you get a preliminary idea of what your monthly payment might be on a new home. This is great for a quick snapshot, but it’s important to remember that there are many variables that can affect your final monthly mortgage payment—so many, in fact, that simple mortgage calculators can sometimes paint a rosier picture than is accurate.

In order to get a realistic estimate, you’ll need two things: an advocate who can help you identify and avoid the potential financial pitfalls specific to your situation, and the courage to be completely honest about what you can afford.

When I first started as a real estate agent, I quickly realized that accurate estimates rely on an experienced analysis of the buyer’s financial health as well as external factors. What is my buyer’s debt-to-income ratio? What's the current market like? Is my buyer someone who is accustomed to building a cushion in case of emergency, or someone who typically lives without a net? Collectively, the answers to these questions provide the details necessary for making real-world estimates—and also lay the foundation for when it comes time to actually apply for your home loan.

Gathering this information is the first step, and it’s part of the home-buying process that I really enjoy. From the outset, I make a point of interviewing each of my clients about their financial history, taking the time to account for everything and making sure that there won’t be any big surprises come loan application time. “The Liz Quiz,” as my clients have nicknamed it, is a working document that we fill out together and continue to update as we make progress. A lot of my clients are surprised to find that they can afford more than they think; just as importantly, other clients of mine have used the quiz as a chance to reset their expectations before it’s too late.

As I mentioned earlier, the other key piece to getting accurate estimates is about being brave. It’s not always easy to talk about money, your money situation, or the past choices you’ve made—but it’s critical when it comes to working with me to buy your home. I understand how difficult it can be to face one’s own financial truths, and I’ve worked with some clients that have had some tough obstacles to overcome. But believe me, I’ve seen it all when it comes to my clients money situations, and my job is to help you get the best deal, and not to judge. Some of the truths we face during the discovery process may be hard to hear, but we’ll be facing them together, and you can rest assured that I’m committed to finding a home for you that fits your dreams and your wallet.

Ready to get started? Contact me today and we can begin work on your own personal Liz Quiz.

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